Almonds are hearty, versatile nuts packed with nutrients and adaptable to a number of recipes. They are an excellent source of biotin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, vitamin B2, phosphorus, magnesium and fiber, notes World's Healthiest Foods. Almonds are known to lower LDL cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease and prevent diabetes.
But unless you soak almonds, you miss out on all their attractive health benefits. NDTV explains the brown peel on almonds contains a tannin that actually inhibits the absorption of nutrients. Soaking almonds allows the peels to slip off easily and the nutrients to be digested more easily. Eating soaked almonds is also known to aid with weight loss, cancer prevention and blood pressure regulation.
To get the most out of almonds, NDTV recommends soaking a handful in a covered half cup of water for a full eight hours. Drain the water and peel the skin. This should take no more than a few minutes. Store the almonds in a plastic container and enjoy for up to one week.
If you need more motivation to soak almonds than just popping them in your mouth one by one, try this delicious recipe for almond milk from Kitchn.
1. Soak 1 cup almonds in a covered bowl filled with 1 inch of water. Soak overnight or up to two days. The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the milk will be.
2. Drain and rinse the almonds under cool water.
3. Blend the soaked almonds and 2 cups fresh water at a high speed for two minutes. If the almonds do not break up easily, pulse the blender a few times before blending continuously for two minutes. If using a food processor, blend for four minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides.
4. Strain the almonds. For the smoothest milk, line a strainer with a cheese cloth and place over a measuring cup. Gather the cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist closed to extract all the liquid out of the meal. You should end up with approximately 2 cups.
5. Sweeten to taste using honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners. You can also add flavors such as cinnamon or chocolate.
6. Refrigerate. The homemade almond milk should be good for two days.
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